Bergdahl to Meet Investigators on Why He Left Afghan Base

Jul 30, 2014 1:19pm
AP bowe bergdahl jt 140531 16x9 608 Bergdahl to Meet Investigators on Why He Left Afghan Base

U.S. Army/AP Photo

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be interviewed next week by military investigators about his 2009 disappearance from an Afghan army post that resulted in Bergdahl being captured by the Taliban.

Bergdahl’s attorney tells ABC News that he expects his client to be interviewed by Maj. General Kenneth Dahl, a two star general. Attorney Eugene Fidell said it’s his “assumption” that Bergdahl will be interviewed by Dahl next week in San Antonio, Texas.  The lawyer said he will be on hand for the interview when it takes place.

An Army official confirms that the meeting is scheduled to take place next week. The military affairs attorney did not provide a specific date for the interview or if it could last more than one day.

Bergdahl was freed by the Taliban in May in a controversial swap for five Taliban prisoners who were being held at the Army detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He is currently assigned to U.S. Army North headquarters in San Antonio.

An Army official  said that before the questioning begins Bergdahl  will be advised of his rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Fidell said that Bergdahl had a “very introductory” meeting with Dahl a few weeks ago and that “nothing substantive” was discussed.   An Army official says the meeting took place in San Antonio the week of July 14.

A 2009 investigation conducted shortly after Bergdahl’s disappearance determined that Bergdahl had walked off the Army base on his own, but could not determine his intent.

Dahl’s investigation is to expand on that earlier investigation to get Bergdahl’s side of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.  Dahl’s report could be due Aug. 16, but he could request an extension for his investigation.

Dahl’s report is a fact finding report  will be presented to the director of the Army staff.  If the report makes findings that could require disciplinary action it will be up to Bergdahl’s current command to follow through with those actions.

As for what happens after the interview next week, Fidell says the “ball will be in the Army’s court as Maj. Gen. Dahl prepares his report and it’s reviewed by the commands he’ll present it to. ”

Fidell said he hopes the matter “will be resolved sooner rather than later so Sgt. Bergdahl can go back to his life.”

After going through a reintegration process that lasted six weeks Bergdahl returned to regular duty at U.S. Army North.

The attorney would not answer whether Bergdahl has spoken or met with his parents since his release from captivity.

In an interview two weeks ago with ABC News’s Brian Ross the lawyer said Bergdahl is “deeply grateful” to President Obama for his freedom.  ”He believes President Obama saved his life,” said Fidell.

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